Over the Road Trucks Using Wireless Networks to Caravan or in Convoys will soon be a reality. Using small Wireless Network Sensors it maybe possible to have hundreds of trucks act like giant trains, by traveling together very closely. Literally tailgating by only three to four feet. By doing this they will cut down on the co-efficient of drag and have increased fuel efficiency.
Now mind you with fuel prices higher now and looking to go up again. And driving a truck all over the country. It behooves the mobile command center to stay at 55-60 mph and to travel in long lines of trucks, which flow the air out of the way, cutting down the head wind. Trucks moving down the road will pull your hat right off your head. Many cars often sit in the vortex behind trucks to improve fuel consumption for 50 miles or more. Tailgating is not too safe, but if the Wireless Sensor Networks are controlling the vehicle instead of eyes glued to the back of the trucks humans, then it can be done safely. Thus we save energy and drag.
Now realize on I-10, I-5, I-40, 20, 70 etc. in the middle of the night with little traffic there is little danger. In the movie with Tom Cruise, “Minority report” you saw the cars generally cruising without any intervention from the people, no cars hit each other at all, because they were communicating with each other and their missions and destinations were pre-configured. This is not to un-similar than Net Centric Warfare, or a computer assigning tasks to a larger network to break into pieces large problems by dividing and conquering or the packs sent through the Internet when sending a email. This technology is available and if we can reduce the coefficient of drag by 80% we can decrease fuel consumption by as much as 40%. The other friction is that of the tires on the ground, that can be fixed by use of magnetic levitation or low air-pressure methods of hydro-craft systems on specially designed highways and what will most likely be the future of rail within the next 100 years. This idea has many implications for military convoys as well, especially with Army recruitment quotas not being met. You can the importance of such logistics. Having done this research and trying to figure out the intervals that are safe and realizing that there is not a need for human reaction time or human error and using this data;
It figures that four to five feet is very doable and also that the air dams on larger trucks are about four feet from the box. The best thought would be for the air dams to move closer to the trailers from the towing vehicles or bobtail at speeds in excess of 48 mph when the co-efficient of drag starts its exponential climb where energy is pitted against the gains in speed. If Look at the hyperbolic curve on charts such as for an aircraft you will see very much the same scenarios.
In racing the quarter mile any real street racer will tell you if you want to increase your quarter mile time by a tenth of a second either add 50 hp or shave off 100 lbs. Well there comes a point of diminishing returns. Trucks, which haul double and triple trailer set ups can do even better with one truck. As fuel prices rise and other costs associated there is a need to cut down on accidents to save insurance premiums and fuel costs. By using Wireless Sensor Networks these things can easily be done. When the Garbage industry went to trucks with only one driver and one mechanical arm they were able to lower costs and remove the trash more efficiently thus the cost savings was unbelievable.
The issues of safety, use of freeways at night and congestion, driver shortages, accidents and insurance, complaints by four wheeler drivers about trucks, expensive insurance, fuel costs, our reliance on foreign oil, etc. All this can be solved by wireless sensor networks without relying on a master grid which could fail, like the cascading of our power outage. It could work within the DOT framework, but independently. Many things are being done to set up grid networks for watching systems and if these systems run independently, you can watch them. In the future use the best and most efficient designs;